道学与金丹 Lecture at Nankai University

Wed, 01 Apr 2015 4:00 PM

Shared Paths to Perfection:
Dao learning 道學 and the Golden Elixir 金丹

This presentation, based on an article, published in the Journal of Daoist Studies (2014), considers the nature of continuity between Ru 儒 (literati) daoxue 道學 (learning of the Way) and  jindan 金丹 (Golden Elixir) cultivation. There has long been a tendency to perceive the two through a bifurcating lens, which sees daoxue 道學 as rational, practical and concerned with moral cultivation while jindan 金丹 is viewed as mystical, otherworldly and preoccupied with immortality and transcendence. This difference in characterisation has been reflected in modern academic institutions such that daoxue 道學 is studied by academics interested in “philosophy” while jindan 金丹 tends to be the province of “religious studies” specialists. This presentation will   make the claim that their respective understanding of the human condition, cultivation practice and soteriology shares sufficient profound continuities to warrant serious reconsideration of this institutionalized division of labour.

Dr. Paul Crowe is an associate professor in the Department of Humanities at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. He also teaches for the Asia Canada Program and directs the David See Chai Lam Centre for International Communication. His research is in two fields: Firstly he works on jindan 金丹 texts of the Song and Yuan dynasties in order to better understand the relationship between Fojiao 佛教 (Buddhist) and Ru 儒 teachings with those of jindan 金丹. He is currently translating the six-juan Qingan yinchanzi lulu 清庵塋蟾子語錄 compiled by six disciples of teacher Li Daochun 李道純 (fl. 1288-1292). Secondly he investigates the relationship between migration, identity and cultural practice through studying Chinese Buddhist institutions in Canada and fuji 扶乩 (spirit-writing) altars in Canada and Hong Kong dedicated to Lü Dongbin 呂洞賓.

Recent publications:

“Dharma on the Move: Vancouver Buddhist Communities and Multiculturalism.” In Flowers on the Rock: Global and Local Buddhisms in Canada. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014: 198-228.

“Dao Learning and the Golden Elixir: Shared Paths to Perfection.” Journal of Daoist Studies 7 (2014): 88-116.

"Response to Armour’s Paper: “Thoughts on the Idea of a World Humanities.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy (Dec. 2012): 571-579.